The Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of a prostitution establishment seeking compensation of over 70,000 euros from the State for the closure during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Court dismissed the establishment’s claim for financial damages, stating that the government’s measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic were “necessary, appropriate, and proportionate to the severity of the situation.” The Court ruled that these measures had a sufficient degree of generality, and individuals had a legal duty to endure them without entitlement to compensation for potential damages. The Court ordered the appellant to pay the legal costs, amounting to 4,000 euros.

The judgment emphasized the high transmission risk of COVID-19 and the potential collapse of healthcare services, justifying restrictions on economic activities in the interest of public health and the integrity of the population. It highlighted that none of the Royal Decrees related to the state of alarm had granted patrimonial rights to those affected by business activity limitations, making it challenging to base compensation claims on the relevant legal provisions.

Additionally, the judgment noted that the Constitutional Court’s decisions declaring partial unconstitutionality of the Royal Decrees did not confer patrimonial rights to individuals affected by the general obligations outlined in these decrees.

The Supreme Court still has around a thousand pending claims on this issue, even though some companies withdrew their appeals following the initial decision in October, which established the criteria for resolving such cases. The judgment provided a consistent response to various companies, particularly in the hospitality sector, that had sought the State’s financial responsibility for damages incurred during the state of alarm. In approximately fifty similar cases, the Court imposed a cost of 4,000 euros on each appellant.

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